What Are Living Foods? A Guide to Nutrient Dense Eating for Better Health [Episode #820]
This week’s topic is: What Are Living Foods? A Guide to Nutrient Dense Eating for Better Health
I’ve been on quite a journey, which has resulted in us really building out these Four Cornerstones that we talk about so much here on our podcast and our community at Solluna, our wellness brand. The Cornerstones are food, body, emotional wellbeing, and spiritual growth. And all of these components of our lifestyle work together to really nourish our health, to build our vibrancy, our vitality, our natural beauty, our creativity, our success at work, with relationships, and many other parts of our life. All things.
And food is something that whilst it isn’t the end all be all, it is a very important part of health and self-love. It’s an important component of being able to attain higher levels of inner peace and success in your meditation practice and in your spiritual growth journey.
I personally believe, and that is one of the reasons that all the great yoga gurus and masters and teachers, including Paramahansa Yogananda, who has had such a profound impact on my life personally, have always taught about diet. The foods that you eat have the ability to elevate your energy. They have the ability to change your life.
And on the other hand, if they are congestive foods, processed, heavy, difficult to digest and break down, they actually clog your body and they clog your potential. They keep you from being in your highest light. Literally, the body exudes light. There are electromagnetic fields coming off our bodies, around our hearts and our brains – a field around us. And if we eat living plant foods we can really make a difference in our lives, which is what I’ll be talking about on today’s show.
Kimberly, I have been hearing a lot about the harmful effects of eating so much processed foods and the need to eat more unprocessed, living foods. Can you speak to what living foods are and the benefits of eating more of them as I would really appreciate learning more about it.
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Kimberly: 00:00 Namaste loves and welcome back to our Thursday Q&A show where we have a topic that’s very close to my heart. It touches on where I really started my health and wellness journey personally, which was around food. And today we are talking about What Are Living Foods? A Guide to Nutrient Dense Eating for Better Health. So I’ve been on quite a journey, which has resulted in us really building out these four cornerstones that we talk about so much here on our podcast and our community at Solluna, our wellness brand. So the Cornerstones are food, body, emotional wellbeing, and spiritual growth. And all of these components of our lifestyle work together to really nourish our health, to build our vibrancy and our vitality, our natural beauty, our creativity, our success at work, with relationships, and many other parts of our life. All things. And food is something that whilst it isn’t the end all be all, it is a very important part of health.
01:11 It’s a very important part of self-love. It’s an important component of being able to attain higher levels of inner peace and success in your meditation practice and in your spiritual growth journey. I personally believe, and that is one of the reasons that all the great yoga gurus and masters and teachers, including Paramahansa Yogananda, who has had such a profound impact on my life personally, have always taught about diet. So the foods that you eat have the ability to elevate your energy. They have the ability to change your life. And on the other hand, if they are congested congestive foods, if they’re processed, if they’re heavy, difficult to digest and break down, they actually clog your body and they clog your potential. They keep you from being in your highest light. Literally, the body exudes light. There are electromagnetic fields coming off our bodies, around our hearts and our brains and so on and so forth. There’s a field around us. And if we eat really excellent foods and as we’ll talk about today, the power of eating, living foods, living plant foods, that is, we can really make a difference in our lives. And what’s nice about focusing on food is that it is tangible. It is something that we can feel a little bit more of a grasp on. We can see the food, we taste it, we pick it up, we smell it, we go to the market, we can choose it. So it’s more concrete than saying,
Kimberly: 02:59 Let’s just focus only on emotional wellbeing or the formless parts of us. Everything works together. So we want to have nourishment and support in all the areas, but food is really concrete and we all eat every day. So it’s a really important component of our lifestyle. So I’m really excited for our practical show today. Before we go further, please take a moment out of your day to leave us a review on Apple or Spotify, wherever you happen to listen to our show. It’s an amazing way to support. So I thank you so much in advance. Please also share the show with a loved one, a colleague, a neighbor, someone that you think would benefit. That is the energy of abundance. We give, we share resources, and we don’t expect anything in return, although the more you give, the more you tend to get back. So this is a daily practice for me that I always work to expand.
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Question around the topic of: What Are Living Foods? A Guide to Nutrient Dense Eating for Better Health: Kimberly, I have been hearing a lot about the harmful effects of eating so much processed foods and the need to eat more unprocessed, living foods. Can you speak to what living foods are and the benefits of eating more of them as I would really appreciate learning more about it.
04:58 Alright, so let’s get into our show today are about living foods and how to eat nutrient dense foods and what it can do for you and practical ways to implement this. So her question comes from Anna, who lives in San Diego, and Anna writes, Kimberly, I’ve been hearing a lot about the harmful effects of eating so many processed foods and the need to eat more unprocessed living foods. Can you speak to what living foods are and the benefits of eating more of them, as I would really appreciate learning more about it. So Anna, thank you so much for your question coming from San Diego, a neighbor of mine where I am right now in Southern California, at least sometimes I’m over in the islands, but here I am on the mainland. So I send you so much love, Anna, and so much gratitude for being part of our community. Appreciate you so much, sending you a big virtual hug
Kimberly: 05:57 Down there. And thank you for bringing up this topic. There’s so much I can say about it. We’re going to get into some concrete research here in just a moment. But I want you to imagine if we looked at the world, if we looked at things around us, the foods that we’re eating, our bodies in terms of light, in terms of energy. So just imagine for a moment that it’s not all about the pretty branding and the packaging, but you really saw the energy. I mean, it’s there for us to really perceive, but let’s imagine you could see it with your physical eyes and I want you to imagine what it is, what it feels like. If you were to pull a carrot from the earth or you were to pick an apple from your tree and feel into what is that energy like? These are foods that have literally been growing in the earth or in the sunlight from all these natural nutrients, this natural mysterious process.
07:08 Some of it we understand. I don’t think we understand all of it from a scientific perspective because there is such a high level of intelligence in nature. And so there’s all these light codes, there’s all this intelligence in the ways in which vegetables and fruit are able to uptake nutrients from the soil, from the air, from the sunlight through these processes like photosynthesis. And it’s incredible. And you can feel a real power not even going into the deep numbers in the science, but you can feel a real power in those types of foods. Now, let’s say you were to hold in your hand a bunch of Cheetos or Pringles or a Kit Kat bar or whatever, whatever kinds of foods come from packages or bags. And if you feel into the energy there past the saltiness and the sugar and these taste profiles that are added into the food from these often hydrogenated denatured oils or again, these cheap fillers or high fructose corn syrup.
08:24 So they’re elevating our senses and making it feel exciting to eat these foods. But I want you to go past that for a moment, and I want you to feel the energy of these packaged foods. And this is where your intuition is so powerful. We all have access to this wisdom inside of you. So, so much of the reason that I think we get disconnected from food is because we stay on the surface level of, okay, here’s the calories I’m eating, or here I’m adding at my carb so I can eat these foods and it fits in these packaged salad dressings or whatever. But when you tune into the energy and you start training yourself to go beyond the linear and the surface and the quantitative, you’ll start to feel almost what it feels like to me is a density, a deadness in these packaged foods.
09:20 You can feel it doesn’t have the same energy, it doesn’t have the same light, it doesn’t have the same aliveness. And so it’s just something that you want to start to train yourself to notice, to perceive with your intuition, right? So this again, is going beyond the numbers. Then you can start to study ingredient lists and you can start to educate yourself about some of these fillers and food dyes and all these other things. But for me, the game changer in my diet came when I started to connect to myself as an energetic being. And the energy of food is going into your body and it’s impacting your energy. So when I started to go beyond numbers, which is something I talk about so much with food combining and digestion, something I wrote about my first book, the Beauty Detox Solution, I couldn’t turn it off.
10:20 I would get exhausted with dieting and charting and counting my calories and grams of sugar. That was unnatural. But when I started to just more intuitively feel the energy of the foods I was eating, then I started to really shift over into naturally wanting to eat more living foods, more healthy whole plant foods. Now, it doesn’t mean that I eat perfectly because I still do love chocolate. And when we’re on the plane to Hawaii, I almost always eat chips because I still love potato chips, but I don’t eat them very often. They’re not part of my day-to-day diet. And there is a percentage of my diet every day that comes from food that I grow myself. So in Hawaii we’ve got tons of guava trees and grapefruit and oranges and mango trees and cacao, many things and raw honey. So I’m consuming a lot from the earth.
11:23 Here we have persimmons, pomegranates, apples, oranges as well. We have vegetable beds, we have the lettuce grow vegetable growers. So for me, the ultimate is being able to grow my own food, but I don’t eat perfectly. I want to emphasize this at the same time I bring you through this exercise because I want you to start to understand on a deeper level that we really are made of form, yes, but the energy underneath this energy inside of you that is metabolizing your food, digesting your food, this energy that’s your unique soul, your true self, the energy of your heart. This, when you work with this energy inside of you, this is what precedes form. So if you’re tuning into the energy of the food that you’re eating, you’ll start to construct a body and the appearance and your external life the way that you would like it because you’re working with the formless, which isn’t yet directed into form.
12:35 That formless energy from food starts to be directed into your cellular construction, your genetic, your constitution, your cellular integrity, your rejuvenation of your organs, and so on and so forth. So it is really important that you’re putting in the energy that you really love. That feels really good to you. So let’s talk a little bit more. Let’s ground that with some research. When we’re talking about living foods, we’re talking about unadulterated foods, foods that are raw, and there’s other shows we’re not going to get into it fully today. It’s not the purpose of the show to talk about what percentage raw and cooked you should be eating. We’ve talked about that on different shows. We’ll link to them in the show notes, some Ayurvedic shows and so forth. I believe in both. I believe in cooked and raw. I know that some of you may have a compromised digestive tract and raw foods may be very difficult for you.
13:42 They may feel very bloating. So we are in rehab mode. That’s where your sauna, digestive enzymes are a lifesaver. I recommend taking three before lunch and dinner the way I do, the way I was able to bring back my body’s ability to better metabolize and assimilate the nutrients from food. But as we rehab our bodies, and of course we all have different systems and different digestive tracks, we will be able, or we should, or ideally we should we say, I can’t say for everyone to eat some of this raw natural bounty from nature. And Yogananda has many essays in his incredible books, his collection of essays such as Man’s Eternal Quest, journey to Self-Realization, the Divine Romance, where he talks about the importance of eating raw fruits and vegetables. He talks about the nutrient density, talks about the colors, he talks about the energy. It’s not been cooked when you cook the foods, it does revitalize some of the vitamin C and other nutrients and the light.
14:53 There’s this portion of the raw food theory where they’re using carilion photography and taking pictures of raw food before and after you cook it and saying, oh, look, you can see it with this really high performance photography that there’s simply more electromagnetic light frequencies coming off from the raw foods. So whether you buy into that or not, I will say it’s important to go into your intuition and what feels what it feels like to you. For me, I love, again, the raw foods. I also do understand and feel great having the cooked stews and soups and the baked sweet potatoes and things like that. But I do believe that the raw foods give so much power to the bodies and they charge us with light, and they are an important part of the diet. They come straight from an unadulterated nature. So a study published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2016 found that raw foodists, no surprise here, had lower intakes of saturated fats and sodium and much higher intakes of dietary fiber and vitamins compared to those on a standard western diet.
16:10 If we’re eating all these raw foods, imagine the content of vitamins that would come into your diet come into your body. A 2019 report found that eating a plant-based diet. Now this wasn’t necessarily measuring a raw diet, but a plant-based diet had significant benefits for your physical health and reducing diseases. So we think about the protective quality of plants. We think about the fiber, which is so important for your gut microbiome. It’s so important for creating this deep core health in your body. And there are diets now where people are even trying not to eat any fiber. They’re trying not to eat plant foods. And I worry about the long-term consequences as far as creating dysbiosis in the gut, which we know really when our guts are healthy, when they’re being fed fiber, which is essentially a type of prebiotic, your gut is able to produce these short chain fatty acids.
17:13 The inflammation levels in your body overall are reduced. And so there’s this real synergistic power of eating in accordance with nature. There’s also benefits for weight loss and weight management, and there’s research, again, we’ll link to all of this in the show notes suggesting that adopting a living foods diet may lead to weight loss. And a 2015 study published in nutrition and diabetes found that participants on a raw food diet experienced significant weight loss and improved insulin sensitivity. Now, I will say from an Ayurvedic perspective, there are different body types, different doshas, and if someone is a little bit more thick, prone to weight gain, easier, bigger boned, more grounded in their body, we might say they’re a Kapha body type. And the Kapha body types actually do the best with raw food, like a full raw food diet, eating a high percentage of raw foods.
18:21 I happen to be Vata, so I’m supposed to do the worst with raw foods. I have a lot of air and wind in my body. But by incorporating ginger and cummin and all these stimulating spices and having a percentage cooked food, I do great with the raw food that I have. I find so much energy. So again, linked to some of the Ayurvedic podcast, which I think pair well with this one if you want to check them out as well. So one of the amazing benefits of raw food is that it does contain its enzymes. So there was a study in published archives of internal medicine found that those with I B s experienced some symptom improvement on a raw food diet. Again, i b s is sort of a broad category, and there’s some people that for instance, follow the FOD map the eating system to avoid certain foods like broccoli or cauliflower, which would be really difficult for certain body types to metabolize in a raw food state.
19:31 Everybody’s body’s different, but no matter what enzymes will really help your digestion. So as I mentioned, a huge part of my journey and one of the reasons that one of our few supplements that we offer, but one of our core supplements are the digestive enzymes. And sometimes people don’t really understand them. They say, oh, I get the detoxy, I take it and then I poop more. I understand taking SS b o probiotics is really important. And I always say this, and I don’t want you to overlook this. You are not what you eat. You are what you digest and what you metabolize. So when you take the enzymes, you’re able to actually intake more nutrition into your body. So imagine you’re getting all this amazing food and you’re preparing these raw salads and you’re even if it’s raw, even if it has its own enzymes, because our bodies can be largely compromised, it is still a great idea to take in digestive enzymes along with the raw foods that you are eating.
20:37 And now let’s talk about antioxidants. The colors, again, eating the rainbow. This was a study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism in 2019, and it found that people who were eating a variety of color had higher levels of certain antioxidants, betacarotene, lutein, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. So this is completely, this makes sense when we think about the expression in nature of all these different colors mean something. They mean different antioxidants, they mean different vitamins. And to have this rainbow for me just feels so intuitively right to have variety, to have breadth and width into your diet. This is something that Dr. B talks about. He’s a plant-based gastroenterologist who’s come on our podcast a couple of times. We will also link to his show in the show notes. And one of the things he said that if you want to strengthen your health, if you want to have more energy and better gut health, one of the most important things is to have more of a variety in your diet.
21:48 And he actually recommends around 35 different plant foods a week. So if you’re interested, you can start keeping track. You can think about all the different foods in your glowing green smoothie, ones that you throw into your salads. My kids like different veggies. Actually, we were just having some radishes earlier today, which are mo’s favorite vegetable, one of his favorites. And then my older son loves cauliflower, loves carrots. So it’s good to have variety in your fridge in the foods that you grow and to get all those amazing colors in the light spectrum. And again, if you tune into energy, you’ll notice when you go to the farmer’s market, the colors are exciting and they draw you in and you want to have the bright shiny vegetables and fruit. You might find yourself really drawn to those red bell peppers and the beets and the Swiss chard and the way the colors are.
22:44 And so go with your intuition, go with your gut, start to feel into that power of light and energy, which is really what is there. What you’re taking in is the energy. It’s not just the quantitative aspects of the food itself. Now, I do want to point out that if you’re eating strictly plant-based, you would want to fortify your diet with vitamin B 12, and you would want to make sure, and this is across the board for everyone, there’s a lot of Americans and people in general who are deficient in vitamin D and a lot of plant milks are fortified. It’s important to get adequate sunlight depending on where you live or to supplement and to supplement with the B vitamins. But I have found, and I’ve gotten blood work periodically that my iron levels, my vitamin D is always great. And again, it goes back to variety.
23:48 And I also really feel into my intuition and I can tell I need something more dense here. I need to eat black beans. I need to have some tahini or whatever it is my body’s calling for. So to be clear, I don’t eat 100% raw. I did for a few years, many years ago now when I was living in New York City, but in the summer I eat a very high percentage raw. And the rest of the year I do eat a percentage raw for sure. We want to make sure that we are really loading up on this potential for this life force, this prana, this energy to come in without cooking it away, right? At least a percentage right when it comes from nature is putting that energy and that light into your body. So ripe fruit and these vibrant, beautiful veggies that you could find at the farmer’s market or around also raw nuts and seeds are wonderful as well.
24:54 I recommend sometimes you might enjoy the roasted ones, but it’s nice to also get raw seeds and nuts. I used to sprout my own sunflower seeds all the time and then dehydrate them, but nowadays I do buy them that way because of time constraints. I also highly recommend sprouts, which are delicious, and I’ve been talking about sprouts since my first book because they’re so nutrient dense. And the Anne Wigmore Institute in Puerto Rico, she was one of the first people to really promote sprouts as a core part of our diet because of their nutrient density and then also fermented foods. I used to make my own raw sauerkraut as well. That was a big part of my daily diet, and I do buy it now, to be completely honest, since having kids in my life becoming even more full. I don’t make my own raw sauerkraut, but I very much do love it as well as vegan kimchi.
25:55 So the benefits of eating this way, and perhaps I’ll retraining a little bit, if back to what Anna was saying, she’s just starting to learn about raw foods and maybe we do get addicted to processed foods and all the salt and all the sugar, but the benefits are that your energy will start to change because the energy of the foods that you’re putting in will start to change. You’ll start to feel better digestion. Your weight will balance naturally. And this is what happened with me. I was dieting. I was always willing to be thin, and now I don’t try to be thin. I don’t run. I don’t do these crazy workouts. I walk, but I do naturally eat natural foods and I naturally have huge meals, but the portion size is naturally regulated by all the fiber and the water from the raw foods is helping to just give you the right nutrition.
26:58 You’ll start to see it in your skin and your eyes. You’ll notice a real glow of brightness because there’s just more light coming through your foods. And then you’ll start to notice higher immunity because of all the vitamins and the ways in which these plant foods are so protective and they have these protective qualities within them. So how to do this in the real world, and again, I think it is important to have a schedule, to have a real holistic lifestyle and some sort of regular components so that you don’t, so get into this regularity, right? There’s this lifestyle that you’re starting to live. So in the morning, I’ve always recommended drinking hot water with lemon. So your body starts with something warming inside of it. But after you have the hot water with lemon, I’ve always taught to have the glowing green smoothie in the morning.
27:53 That way you’re starting with the sunshine in your belly, all the lemon and the greens and the fruit. It doesn’t have to be super cold now that we’re getting into fall in the winter months, it can certainly be room temperature, but it is very much something that I recommend to have that smoothie regularly in the morning. And then when you’re out and about, it’s really wonderful to bring raw foods with you for snacking. I eat a lot of raw foods because I travel a lot back and forth to Hawaii. We make our own trail mix. My kids love nuts and goji berries and raisins and things like that. We also eat a, I do and my kids, we eat a huge amount of fruit. So I mean, you name it, apples watermelon. In Hawaii, we eat tons of Hawaiian pineapple, all the fruit on all our trees, and that’s a huge percentage of our diet is raw fruit.
28:53 I do not like to cook fruit myself. Ithink that destroys a lot of the nutrients. So I’m not a stewed fruit person, but enjoy the raw fruit. I think that there’s certain things that we can cook and have that part of our diet, but I really think the fruit should be raw, personally or dried, like dried goji berries and then salads. Salads are a great way to start dinner, even if the rest of your dinner is going to be a cooked stew or soup. Or if you’re on the go and you’re making a sandwich for yourself or soup, you can throw a bunch of sprouts or microgreens on top and still get a lot of the raw foods in it. It’s also a great idea. Have that raw sauerkraut on hand, which you can get in the refrigerated section of health markets, or you can make it yourself.
29:49 I still have recipes on my website and to have a component of that with your dinner for sure, and that’s important because it’s going to help you digest your food. It’s full of B vitamins. It is transient forming bacteria, I will say. So it doesn’t replace taking an SS b o probiotic, which is resident forming and will actually go and reconstruct your gut and help you to really create a healthy microbiome. But the sauerkraut is tasty and tangy and does have some benefits while it’s in there. As I mentioned, I just don’t think it’s the end all be all, but it’s a good way to get some raw foods in your diet and to create a different balance of flavors on your plate and so on and so forth. Practically speaking, I’ll say to please check out some of the many hundreds at this point.
30:46 Hundreds of recipes over on our website, which are all plant-based, they’re properly food combined. They are created for your energy in mind, your natural beauty. They’re all in harmony with the power of nature. So please check them out at mysolluna.com as well as many other resources, our amazing podcast tab where you can check out other shows, our products, our courses, our articles, my blogs and more. We will be back here Monday for our next show. So until then, take great care of yourself. Look forward to connecting with you more. Hit me up on social. I will find you on there at underscore Kimberly Snyder, and see you back here soon. Sending you so much love.